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BAE Systems submits proposal to US Army for replacement of Bradley IFV.

| 2021

BAE Systems has submitted a bid for a contract to supply the U.S. army with the OMFV (Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle) as a replacement of its M2A3 Bradley IFV. General Dynamics and Rheinmetall (in partnership with Raytheon, L3Harris, and Allison Transmission) are also competing for this tender. According to the Telegraph newspaper, the contract could be worth as much as $45bn, Suban Abdulla reports on Yahoo!Finance.
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The OMFV competition aims at replacing the M2A3 Bradley (Picture source: U.S. Army/Sgt. Alon Humphrey, 3rd Armd Bde Combat Team, 1st Armd Div Public Affairs)

Rather than submitting finalized designs, the U.S. Army is asking the competitors to submit concepts for the new vehicle (but with following some requirements), inviting them to be imaginative and utilize technology. In the framework of its OMFV (Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle) program, the U.S. Army has indeed requested that the new vehicle should have a crew of a maximum of two and be able to carry out some missions while being controlled remotely. BAE is working with the U.S. branch of Elbit Systems on the design of the vehicle's integrated turret. But the company has not revealed much else about its concept.

GD’s press release offers no details or imagery of their design. But featured on BAE’s press release is a shadowy silhouette of a turreted, tracked armored vehicle. It bears some family resemblance to the Bradley and its modernized offshoot, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), but it is distinctly different from either, Breaking Defense comments. By comparison, the vehicle silhouetted on the BAE release looks fairly conventional. It could even be a modified, turreted AMPV.

In June 2018, in part due to congressional concerns, the Army announced a new modernization strategy and designated the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) as the program to replace the M2 Bradley. In October 2018, Army leadership decided to redesignate the NGCV as the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) and to add additional vehicle programs to what would be called the NGCV Program.

Updated numerous times since its introduction, the M2 Bradley is widely considered to have reached the technological limits of its capacity to accommodate new electronics, armor, and defense systems. Two past efforts to replace the M2 Bradley—the Future Combat System (FCS) Program and the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) Program—were canceled for programmatic and cost-associated reasons.

At present, the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) recommends decreases to the OMFV budget request as follows:
* S. 4049 recommends decreasing the Army’s OMFV FY2021 budget request by $80 million to $247.732 million for program reset, attributed to the program’s cancellation and restart.
* H.R. 6395 recommends decreasing the Army’s OMFV FY2021 budget request by $83 million to $244.732 million for Army-identified funds excess to need, also attributed to the OMFV program cancellation and restart.
The FY2021 Defense appropriations bill recommends decreasing the Army’s OMFV FY2021 budget request by $98.232 million due to Army-identified excess and overestimation of need. Potential issues for Congress include the Army’s new OMFV Acquisition Strategy and OMFV program decisionmaking authority.


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